Entrepreneurship is the way to go - Lincoln Gordon produces natural herbs and spices
Fifty-eight-year-old returning resident Lincoln Gordon believes entrepreneurship is the way to go, and he is pioneering the path in the cool hills of Summerfield, Clarendon, with his line of natural herbs, spices, and seasonings called Lincoln's.
"We need to utilise what we have in Jamaica to take us out of the sticky patches that Jamaica is in economically at the moment. Bringing imports in all the time is not going to work," he said.
Gordon, who migrated to England at 10 years old, studied mechanical engineering at the Loughborough University of England and worked as an engineer for many years. However, the father of six and husband of 15 years decided to pack up and return to his beloved island in 2000.
"The idea was to come back and make a contribution to my own country and get back a feel of the Jamaican weather," Gordon explained.
After dabbling in various ventures, Gordon opened a bar in his community and started a jerk centre to accompany it. He soon realised he needed to create a sauce to complement the meals. That was when the first product in his line was born.
"People loved the sauce and they were coming from all over for the sauce. I was encouraged to go to the Denbigh Agricultural Show, and people there loved the product so much that they started asking what else I have," Gordon said.
That propelled the spirited entrepreneur to create more original products. To date, the line has some 32 products, including hot pepper, turmeric ketchup, and ginger beet ketchup. He has also ventured into teas and cassava flour.
Remarkably, all of the products are created by Gordon's very own small-scale processing plant, which he designed and created himself.
He employs community members and sources produce from farmers in the community.
The next move for the innovator is to expand his business, and employ even more persons.
Gordon's efforts towards nation building have been recognised by him receiving various coveted awards, including the National Commercial Bank's Nation Builder Innovation Award in 2016 and National Bakery's BOLD Ones award in 2014.
Though Gordon was trained in engineering and not food processing, he believes it is his God-given talent, which must be pursued.
"I think one should always pursue their talent because that is what God gives to you and that is the direction He wants you to go," Gordon said.